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Writer's Cage Match!

Updated on January 4, 2013

Desperate Measures

If you're like me, this writing thing just isn't working out. I write and labor in ignominy while being largely ignored by the general reading public. Meanwhile amateurs like Tom Clancy and John Grisholm get agents and book deals and movies-of-the-week as I languish in obscurity.

Imagine the disappointment I feel after routinely producing quality literary works and rush to post them. Sitting by the email, waiting so I can receive effusive praise from the literary community while I become the envy of my peers. And then...nothing happens. People just don't read, at least not mine.

So if you're in the same plight as I, I feel your pain. I've tried everything to improve my writing style but to no avail. And since plagiarism is frowned upon, my prospects don't appear too bright. Perhaps it's not me. Perhaps after years of labor and effort with dismal success I finally seek professional help and this lanky young technician guy wearing a bow-tie and sporting two whiskers on his chin inspects my house and says, "Mr. Henderson, we found your problem. Your Internet cable has been disconnected for the past ten years. That will be $149 please."

I suspect even my third grade teacher never ready any of my book reports or essays, the ones I actually turned in. I imagine she just picked the paper up, saw my name scrawled illegibly across the top of the page and recoiled in disgust. And then she arbitrarily gave me a D or an F, depending on what type of mood she happened to be in at that moment, crotchety or extra crotchety. Perhaps your teacher wasn't a peevish old bat but mine had the disposition of a porcupine with a bad case of hemorrhoids.

The bottom line is its getting harder to find gullible and naive readers who will actually read anything. My research indicates readers who could actually appreciate my level of ability have the literary appreciation of a grapefruit. It's time we face the ugly conclusion, we're competing with a sophisticated clientele demanding quality entertainment like Jersey Shore and The Kardashians. I'm sure Anthropologists are appalled to find the cultural tastes of mankind, after 20,000 years of forward progress, are going against the evolutionary paradigm here; as we evolve into higher life forms than our slack-jawed neanderthal predecessors, our palette for reading is declining. People used to read works by people like Charles Dickens and all that highfalutin stuff the teacher made us read against our constitutional rights; now they sit glued to the TV while it sucks their brains right out of their heads, especially during the commercial breaks.

I've resorted to lottery tickets and raffles but to no avail. I even gave away a nice car; things went well until the guy that actually owned the car complained. I suppose I should have told him about my promotion first.

In a desperate attempt to attract readers I propose we, the writers must enlist more dramatic forms of entertainment to attract readers. I'm talking about some good old-fashioned showmanship, not crass efforts like carnival barkers or used car salesman I say we should take our cue from the experts like those guys in the professional wrestling sports entertainment industry. For instance, the WWE or other well respected sports venues. Let's face it, do people tune in to watch wrestling? No. There isn't a big demand for overweight guys in speedos grappling unless you have some sort of weird fetish. No. The viewers tune in to watch a soap opera with men in tights. It's all those cheesy shenanigans that draws in the crowd.

So in that vein, I propose we have...Writer's Cage Matches. Who needs talent when you got two writers pounding each other over the head with metal folding chairs while competing for readers. Now that's quality entertainment! Suddenly the readers are clamoring for more.

Yes, I am seriously advocating two writers squaring off in a ring and bashing each other with their laptops while they call the other names. And when the referee steps in to stem to mayhem and carnage, suddenly the ring is flooded with evil cohorts who bash their opponents senseless and send them to the hospital who miraculously recover from their comas just in time for the next highly televised grudge match.

I admit I don't look all that great in tights since my love handles spill out over the spandex but since you can't actually 'see' me when I write, my readers won't suddenly be seized with the urge to gouge out their eyeballs as I step into the ring.

Every good marketing strategy needs cheesy antics!

  • change writers names to catchy titles like the Syntax Mauler or the Prose Mangler
  • engage in frequent disputations where one writer insults the intelligence of another.
  • resort to elaborate but underhanded tactics to maim or slander your opponents.
  • Costumes and masks however do not work since our readers can't actually see us wearing them.

And now for the play-by-play...

Narrator 1: Ooohh! The Mauler kicked him right in the gerund. That's gonna leave a mark!

Narrator 2: He comes back with a vicious run-on sentence Looks like his participle is dangling, he may be hurt!

Narrator 1: The doctor said he fragmented his sentence.

Narrator 2: Yeah. They hit him so hard, I think it split his infinitive wide open!

Narrator 1: He looks mad now. He's moving in for the knock out. Ooohh! The Mangler just tripped over his own vocabulary. I don't believe it. They just knocked out the editor. Folks, It's brutal out there tonight!

Ding, ding, the ring breaks out into a melee'. The TV fades out to a commercial for bladder control products...

Those guys at the WWE, they just know how to market. I think this just might work!

Alright, who's first?!!


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